Monthly Archives: December 2016


ANGAU HOSPITAL over the Christmas period recorded the highest number of live births on Christmas day in Morobe Province.

UNICEF Projects in Kenya

The recorded surpasses the previous record of 17 live births during the Eve of Christmas in the country.
Angau delivers on average about 900 babies every month that demands three shifts rotation of midwives who attend to an average of 10 mothers per shift.

Whilst manpower remains an issue at Angau Hospital, nurses and midwives are committed to ensuring maternal care is attended at all times.


EAST NEW BRITAIN finally welcomes its son Cardinal John Ribat who arrived in the province to an overwhelming crowd who welcomed him on his arrival.

Accompanying the Cardinal was Deputy PM Sir Leo Dion, Archbishop of Rabaul Francesco Panfilo, former Archbishop of Rabaul Karl Hesse, Rabaul MP Dr Allan Marrat and Pomio Mp Elias Kapavore who made sure Cardinal Rivat’s arrival in the province was well met by his people.
Cardinal Rivat will visit various Church run institutions during his stay in East New Britain

ExxonMobil: New Gas Discovery at Papua New Guinea Well

By: Rigzone Staff

Exxon Mobil Corporation announced Wednesday a new natural gas discovery in the Papua New Guinea North Highlands, 13 miles northwest of the Hides Gas Field.

The Muruk-1 well encountered similar high-quality sandstone reservoirs as the Hides field and was in line with pre-drill expectations, according to an Exxon statement. The well was safely drilled to 10,630 feet, with evaluations currently underway to determine the size of the discovery.


Exxon Mobil Corporation announced Wednesday a new natural gas discovery in the Papua New Guinea North Highlands, 13 miles northwest of the Hides Gas Field

“We are excited by the results of the Muruk-1 exploration well, which confirms the presence of hydrocarbons in the same high-quality sandstone reservoirs as the Hides field that underpins the PNG LNG project,” said Steve Greenlee, president of ExxonMobil Exploration Company.

“Over the coming months we will work with our co-venturers to better determine the full resource potential,” he added.

“ExxonMobil has been involved in exploration in Papua New Guinea since the 1930s. The Muruk exploration success demonstrates the strength of ExxonMobil’s long-term investment approach and reaffirms its commitment to Papua New Guinea,” Greenlee concluded.

Drilling operations at the Muruk-1 well began on Nov. 2. The well is located in petroleum prospecting license 402, which covers 126,000 acres.

Interest owners in the well are ExxonMobil (42.5 percent), Oil Search Limited (37.5 percent) and Barracuda Limited, a subsidiary of Santos Limited (20 percent, subject to regulatory approval), with Oil Search as operator

Housing Construction Begins

The much-anticipated Duran Farm housing project in Port Moresby is gaining momentum with construction work beginning in earnest to complete the 5000 houses.

Although the installation of water, power, sanitation and other service lines remains outstanding, Housing Minister Paul Isikiel thanked Prime Minister Peter O’Neill for the Government’s K7 million in the 2017 budget.

He said this amount had been designated to fund the vital services in the housing project.

Isikiel said more than 6000 successful applications had been received and processed pending the service arrangement before funds were released to the bank.


“I assure all applicants that finally the Government funds are now made available to ease drawdown of loans with the bank,” he said.

“For those awaiting titles, it’s a good Christmas present.

“The long-awaited asset register is now finalised.

“It is still in draft form pending further additional data after almost 25 years in waiting.

“The first day I came into office, one of my key priorities is the asset register.

“Now I can do business and move NHC (National Housing Corporation) forward with the vital data on the full stock of housing available in the country.”

Isikiel said 2016 has been a challenging year for all stakeholders but he remained optimistic of better things in the new year.

The National News Gynnie Kero December 29, 2016

How I ended up in the jungle with deadly hornets in my hair

This story has no message or purpose. It is one of the winter’s tales – accounts of the many bizarre incidents that have marked my life – that I tell at this time of year. For once, I am not trying to make a point.

In 1987, I was working with the photographer Adrian Arbib in the occupied territory of West Papua. Annexed by Indonesia in 1963, it was being governed with characteristic brutality by the Suharto regime. The indigenous people were being forced off their land and replaced, in a programme sponsored by the World Bank, by migrants from Java and Bali. Many had been tortured and killed. Timber and minerals were being stripped from the territory; palm oil plantations were replacing the rich forests and their remarkable wildlife. Much of this continues today.


Mountain landscape near Membegan, West Papua, Indonesia: ‘Giant hornets swarmed over my body, buzzing frantically.’ Photograph: Jane Sweeney/Getty Images/Lonely Planet Images


They looked terrified. I remembered that my shirt was off, my eyes were rolling and I was trembling. I had to reassure them.

We had made contact with the Papuan rebels who were trying to fight the Indonesian state with old rifles and bows and arrows. They had told us to wait in a hotel in Jayapura, the sweaty, sagging capital of the stolen province. They would send someone to collect us and take us by sea to their camp on the border with Papua New Guinea.

The town, swarming with soldiers and secret services, was dangerous to them. After a few days, a man in mirrored sunglasses came into the hotel, bundled us into his jeep and took us to a tin hut in the adjoining shanty town, where the local rebel commander sized us up and eventually agreed to send a boat for us. His messengers would stay in touch.

We waited. And waited. Days went by, during which the messengers came and went, always promising to pick us up the following dawn, then producing a reason later in the day why it couldn’t happen.

Bored rigid, I set off one morning for a walk. The forest close to the town was in tatters, broken up by shifting cultivation. It was a hot day, and I soon took off my shirt and slung it over my shoulder. I followed a trail that took me down to a small stream. I crossed it and began to climb through the burnt trees on the other side. Halfway up the slope, I brushed against a rotten stump. I took another step and found myself under attack.

Giant hornets swarmed over my body, buzzing frantically. I knew how dangerous they were: plenty of people had died from their stings. I also knew that if I stood stock still, they would eventually fly away. For a while, I managed not to twitch. The buzzing became louder as reinforcements poured out of the stump. One of them was climbing up the inside of my leg, into my shorts.

Suddenly I could bear it no longer. I lunged up the slope, shouting and beating them with my shirt. Every sting felt like being punched with a knuckle duster. I panicked more, lashing at the hornets, screaming. Then I suddenly stopped, aware that I was being stung to death.

Heart pounding, breathing raggedly, I waited until the last of them disentangled themselves from my hair and they returned to the stump. I could feel every sting: there were eight. I suspected I was as good as dead.

I stumbled across the clearings, shouting for help. In a clump of trees I saw a rickety house on stilts. A ladder led to the platform, 10 feet from the ground. I clung to the steps, shouting. No one emerged, so I climbed up and looked in. There were five people inside: two children, their parents and their grandmother. They looked terrified. I remembered that my shirt was off, my eyes were rolling and I was trembling. I had to reassure them.

“Hello,” I said. “I’m George.” I stepped forward to shake hands with the man, hit my head on the lintel and fell on top of his wife. She screamed. The children began to cry. I picked myself up, babbling apologies. I had to win their trust. I spoke slowly. “It’s very important you understand me. I have just been attacked by hundreds of insects.” The man’s mouth fell open; he didn’t seem to believe what I said. “A swarm of insects. They came out of a tree and started flying round my head. Then eight of them bit me.”

But instead of serangga – which means insects – in my panic I said semangka; or watermelons. The grandmother backed away from me, shaking her head and feeling for the back door. The children began to scream more loudly.

I sat down beside the man and tried to explain it carefully. “I need help. I was walking in your field when I was attacked by watermelons. Eight of them bit me, eight watermelons.”

He stared at me, unable to move, his eyes becoming bigger and rounder as I nodded assurances at him. “Look –” I began again. The young woman was whimpering with terror.

Then her husband suddenly smiled. “Ahh, serangga!” He stood up. “You stay there, I have some medicine for you.”

I was going to be saved! These people lived with the hornets, didn’t they? They must have an antidote, refined over millennia from forest herbs. The man told me to lie on my front. He began to rub something into my back. It felt warm and soothing, and the pain began to ebb. The smell of the medicine was strangely familiar.

I turned my head and saw in his hand a jar of Vicks VapoRub. “No, no! I’m going to die!” I cried. I ran from the room, forgetting that it was 10 feet from the ground. I crashed into the undergrowth, picked myself up and fled. A backward glance revealed the man in his doorway, holding a small jar in one hand, my shirt in the other, staring after me.
Just before I reached the town, the convulsions began. I felt as if I were being picked up by the shoulders and shaken. I began to drool. I stumbled along the streets, shuddering and sobbing, holding on to buildings to stay upright as my legs began to buckle. I fell through the door of the hotel and into our room, where Adrian was sitting on his bed, reading.

He started up. “God you look awful.” I tried to speak, but my mouth didn’t seem to work. I fell face down on to my bed, shivering violently. He must have noticed the welts on my back, because he forced a couple of antihistamines down me. The fit began to subside, and I blacked out almost immediately.

I was gone for 12 hours, and when I woke I felt cleaned out, bereft, as if I had just suffered some great loss. It took me a while to realise that all I had left behind was my shirt.

China and PNG sign deal for giant industrial park

14 December 2016

China has agreed to spend nearly $US4 billion to build a giant industrial park in Papua New Guinea.


PNG’s Treasurer Patrick Pruaitch said investors from Shenzhen had signed a memorandum of understanding to build a series of processing and manufacturing plants at two industrial parks in West Sepik province.

The plans involve large-scale processing of timber products, fisheries, cassava and tropical spices at one park.

An adjacent park will tailor to Shenzhen-based companies that want to produce steel, cement and other industrial products.

The projects are to be developed in phases at a final cost of $US3.8 billion.

A spokesman for the treasurer says the government hoped to see construction starting next year, but the plans at this stage were “very long term.”

Metallurgical Corporation of China, which built a $US2 billion nickel mine in Papua New Guinea in 2012, is expected to be the main construction contractor.

The spokesman said the projects were a part of China’s “One Belt, One Road” policy, even though the initiative is aimed at connecting Asia to Europe and Africa via a 21st century version of the ancient Silk Road east-west trade route that didn’t include the South Pacific.

Another agreement between Papua New Guinea and business interests from Fujian Province, which is also looking at major investments, including the idea of starting a “furniture city” in the country, is close to being signed, the spokesman added.

Solien ‘walks the talk’ to achieve her dream


DESPITE her challenges in life that made her thought she would not complete her tertiary education to be an engineer, Ginisegana Solien through the Business and Professional Women Club (BPW) finally completed her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 2015.

Ms Solien, 34, from Central Province, never gave up her hopes of returning to school to complete her degree in civil engineering at the Papua New Guinea University of Technology when a scholarship for women under the Decie Autin Science, Technology, and Engineering & Maths (STEM) was offered to her.

BPW of Port Moresby’s main activity is to provide scholarships to assist women and girls to complete their education.

“I have had my challenges and it was not easy, it is good to hang around with positive people and believe that you can achieve your goals by ‘walking the talk’ and not just saying and/or thinking about it,” she said.


After completing her secondary education in 2001 at Gordon Secondary School, Ms Solien was selected to take up Civil Engineering studies at the University of Technology in 2002, however due to circumstances she did not complete her final year of study. “I left school and get a job with a construction company called C&M Engineers, because I needed the money to survive. The company specialised in minor earthworks and concrete structures and I had the opportunity to work at various gold mines in Papua New Guinea”.

“I was an admin officer but because of my background in Civil Engineering, my employer trained me to do field work, eventually my job title changed to quality assurance (Q&A) officer,” she said.

She added that due to lack of available work and downsizing of crews, she started to look for another job, but it was very difficult because she did not have a certificate or a degree.

“It was very hard to get back to construction again especially without certified qualification”.

At the time Esso Highlands Limited was recruiting administration officers. “I applied, however I was knocked back. A week later I was interviewed for another position which was to supervise a small project at the LNG plant site outside Port Moresby and that is how I began as an Esso Highlands Limited (now ExxonMobil PNG Limited) contractor.

“In 2014 EMPNG’s Women in Energy Network (WEN) had a number of mentoring sessions, I attended a few of the sessions and met some of the company’s senior staff who shared their experiences with the network,” she said. “During one of the mentoring session which involved speed interview, she mentioned that she had studied for Bachelors Degree in Civil Engineering but did not complete it. A few of our female engineers, including Decie Autin encouraged me to go back and complete my studies.”

After completing her project at the LNG plant site, Ms Solien was assigned to what was then land and community affairs department as an analyst.

“At the time we had a female manager who continued to mentor me and encouraged me to return to school to complete my degree. A day before University of Technology registration closed I arrived in Lae to hand-deliver my application which was accepted and I eventually went back to school in February last year. I left work to complete my studies”

Ms Solien said that going back to school with students younger than herself was challenging at times because their concentration level was different from hers but she managed to get through, graduated and then applied for the EMPNG Graduate Program. By early November 2015, she started her new role as a graduate engineer.

She is focused on learning and developing her Civil and Geotechnical Engineering skills.

Her job gives her the opportunity to travel to the EMPNG LNG plant site and the Hides Gas Conditioning Plant in Hides for work.

Digicel staff lend a helping hand

Twenty Digicel staff were on hand to help the celebrations at the inaugural EDAI Town Christmas Fair held last weekend, December 10 and 11.

The two-day fair showcased PNG arts and crafts, fresh fruits, vegetables and other local products. The Digicel team were keeping the children entertained by managing the bouncing castles and face painting booth that Digicel provided to the Fair.

The EDAI Town Christmas Fair 2016 was organised by EDAI Town Development Ltd and was attended by local villagers along the Napa Napa Road.

Director of EDAI Town Development Ltd, Kim Yong, said it was the first time the event had been held and she was very happy with it.


“We will have similar events in the future to celebrate and commemorate events such as Easter, independence celebrations and many others,” she said.

Digicel retail director Lorna McPherson said the Company was delighted and proud to support the event.

“The Fair was a wonderful event that celebrated Christmas with families and profiled the town which they are promoting as having a 4G lifestyle – Gated, Guarded, Green and Global,” McPherson stated.

“By providing the jumping castles and face painting, we were able to provide some great enjoyment and fun for the children, which is extra special at this time of year.”

EDAI Town is located next to Boera Village along the Napa Napa Road towards the PNG LNG plant site. A hand

SME legislation not good for business

A senior head of the World Bank says the proposed Reserve Businesses and SME Bank legislations are bad Small to Medium Enterprise interventions.

Global Head of the World Bank’s Finance and Markets Global Practice, Simon Bell, says both policy interventions are bad legislations, which will affect the growth of SME’s.

Speaking during the SME Development Workshop in Port Moresby recently, Bell said many economies in their bid to boost their SME sectors, came up with bad legislations.

One view that the Reserved Businesses legislation is a bad intervention falls on the premise that employment will suffer and that the quality of service may drop.

The creation of SME Banks with government control or ties are seen to be worrying signs as well.


During the SME Development Workshop, SMEC Manager Business Training  and Information Services, Peter Piawu, said a work is in progress to establish a National SME Bank.

Piawu says rationale behind the move is to create more financial institutions to provide loans to SME’s.

He took note of the World Banks recommendation but said PNG will learn from its experiences and improve its strategies to grow the SME sector.

Moves for the creation of the reserve businesses legislation began in 2014.

Earlier this year SME Corporation Managing Director, Steven Maken, said the Reserved Businesses legislation was being carefully put together as there may be legal ramifications if made law.

He did point out that not all business sectors will be reserved while there will be guidelines on co-ownerships, for example locals will own a 51% share in a business or company partly owned by a foreigner of investor.

Minster for Trade, Commerce & Industry, Richard Maru, has previously stated that a list of reserved businesses for Papua New Guineans was being compiled.

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